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The Best Man


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Tonite at eight. I always watch it to enjoy the late great Cliff Robertson as scheming ultra-patriot Joe Cantwell. A great shame Cliff never got to reprise such a meaty role. :)

I agree that Robertson is phenomenal in this picture.  So is Fonda.  But the real scene stealer in my opinion is Ann Sothern.  She had successfully transitioned to character actress at this point, and she is at the top of her game as always.

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Yep, I too agree. Always thought the entire cast of veteran actors did a great job of fleshing out all the archetypal characters in Vidal's screenplay, and which doesn't seem dated in the least.

 

(...well, okay, except for maybe that to NOW have both an extreme Rightie AND Leftie within the SAME political party vying for its nomination seems somewhat a "quaint" idea, I suppose)   

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Was never surprised at the fine performances given by the main cast.  But it was SHELLY BERMAN'S foray into drama that took me by surprise.  The guy had some good dramatic chops.  I'm only familiar with him as a comic.

 

Sepiatone

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Was never surprised at the fine performances given by the main cast.  But it was SHELLY BERMAN'S foray into drama that took me by surprise.  The guy had some good dramatic chops.  I'm only familiar with him as a comic.

 

Sepiatone

 

You're right, Sepia. Shelly is also very good in this film.

 

Some of those old Borscht Belt comics, such as Alan King and Jan Murray, will occasionally surprise you with their abilities in drama when you stumble upon their work away from comedy, won't they.

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You're right, Sepia. Shelly is also very good in this film.

 

Some of those old Borscht Belt comics, such as Alan King and Jan Murray, will occasionally surprise you with their abilities in drama when you stumble upon their work away from comedy, won't they.

Check out Jan Murray in Who Killed Teddy Bear?, a perfect film for TCM Underground.

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Check out Jan Murray in Who Killed Teddy Bear?, a perfect film for TCM Underground.

 

Yep Swithin, that and his turn on the Dick Van Dyke Show as a conniving and unlovable character was what came to my mind as I typed out his name.

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I'm always disappointed at the end when Russell outfoxes Cantwell. I'd like to see a sequel. The story continues with Joe getting something juicy on Merwin who backs down and hands the nomination to Joe but Joe lets him ride the bottom of the ticket. For Joe Cantwell either Gary Sinise or Kevin Bacon. For William Russell Robin Williams and for Art Hockstader Fred Thompson. The Title: The Best Man 2: The Revenge of Joe Cantwell. :D

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You're right, Sepia. Shelly is also very good in this film.

 

Some of those old Borscht Belt comics, such as Alan King and Jan Murray, will occasionally surprise you with their abilities in drama when you stumble upon their work away from comedy, won't they.

 

Quite a few comedians, such as Berman, Rickles, Buddy Hackett and Dick Martin started out as straight actors and only went into comedy b/c they couldn't get straight acting roles

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Yep Swithin, that and his turn on the Dick Van Dyke Show as a conniving and unlovable character was what came to my mind as I typed out his name.

 

Jan Murray was never on the DVDS, at least the one that matters

 

Are you thinking of Carl Reiner (another dramatic actor -- Shakespearean trained no less -- who went into comedy to get work)

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Lee Tracy recreated his Broadway role for the picture.

 

And walked away with the film, getting an Oscar nomination in the process. Nice capstone to a long career that looked like it was really going places when he, er, had an unfortunate incident in Mexico.

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Jan Murray was never on the DVDS, at least the one that matters

 

Are you thinking of Carl Reiner (another dramatic actor -- Shakespearean trained no less -- who went into comedy to get work)

 

Nope, RK. I'd know "Alan Brady" FROM Jan Murray in a darkened television studio and with my eyes closed, dude.

 

And yep, I'm PRETTY* sure, though I wouldn't bet Alan's array of toupees on it("Surely there must be some needy bald people!") that Jan Murray once guest starred on the DVDS. As I recall, Jan played some old down-and-out friend of Rob's, but who would turn out to be very untrustworthy.

 

(*--about 97.6%, which of course leaves us 2.4% that I could be mistaken)

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I'm PRETTY darn sure(though I wouldn't bet Alan's array of toupees on it, "Surely there must be some needy bald people!") that Jan Murray once guest starred on the DVDS. As I recall, Jan played some old friend of Rob's, but who would turn out to very untrustworthy.  

 

That was Jack Carter

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That was Jack Carter

 

FACE-PALM!!!

 

YEP, you're right, it WAS Jack Carter!

 

Never COULD get those two straight, ya know.

 

(...sorry...and thanks for the clarification...ooooh, you're good!) ;)

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BUT, speakin' o' Jack Carter, there's ANOTHER Borscht Belt comedian who was pretty good in more dramatic or semi-dramatic roles, wouldn't ya say?!

 

(...was this a decent "save" or NOT?!) ;)

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Take pride in quoting the classic "needy bald people" line

 

;)

 

Actually, I know Dick Curtis who played the game show host that Laura spills the beans to about Alan's baldness on national TV.

 

He owns and operates a little hotel here in Sedona now days, and has some great stories to tell about his friendships with Red Skelton who helped him early on in the biz, Jonathan Winters, and Stan Laurel.

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;)

 

Actually, I know Dick Curtis who played the game show host that Laura spills the beans to about Alan's baldness on national TV.

 

He owns and operates a little hotel here in Sedona now days, and has some great stories to tell about his friendships with Red Skelton who helped him early on in the biz, Jonathan Winters, and Stan Laurel.

 

He also appears to good effect in Support Your Local Gunfighter and an amusing Odd Couple episode where Felix somehow ends up leading a country music band (the other guest star is -- believe it or not -- Pernell Roberts).

 

How did he know Laurel?

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He also appears to good effect in Support Your Local Gunfighter and an amusing Odd Couple episode where Felix somehow ends up leading a country music band (the other guest star is -- believe it or not -- Pernell Roberts).

 

How did he know Laurel?

 

His story is similar to Dick Van Dyke's tale of becoming friends with Stan later in his life. He called him up on the phone one day and Stan invited him over to his apartment, and it became a semi-regular thing.

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His story is similar to Dick Van Dyke's tale of becoming friends with Stan later in his life. He called him up on the phone one day and Stan invited him over to his apartment, and it became a semi-regular thing.

 

Dick Cavett did that as well

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Dick Cavett did that as well

 

Are you sure it was Dick Cavett or Johnny Carson??? I always had a problem gettin' THOSE two straight TOO!!!

 

(...naaah, jus' kiddin' and playin' off my earlier little mistake here) ;)

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Are you sure it was Dick Cavett or Johnny Carson??? I always had a problem gettin' THOSE two straight TOO!!!

 

(...naaah, jus' kiddin' and playin' off my earlier little mistake here) ;)

 

Just to seque from that, in his first book Cavett tells hows Carson went on the air at the end of the Tonight Show and said, "A great comedian died today. His name was Stan Laurel and I'll miss him."

 

Cavett writes that Carson was criticized for the brusqueness of his farewell, then adds, "But as someone who would also rather be accused of coldness rather than exploiting sentimentality, I understood."

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I remember reading somewhere that Stan Laurel's daughter said many young and "up and coming" comedians would find their way to Stan's place just to hear stories and ask advice.  And Stan loved all the attention. 

 

Sepiatone

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